Whether you’re in the mood for an informal seaside escape, an encounter with the “Big Five” on safari, or a choice of scintillating city diversions, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and interesting regions on the planet. The Eastern Cape’s biodiversity is unmatched in Southern-Africa. There are 5 biogeographic regions in the Eastern Cape South Africa, spanning from the semi-desert Karoo in the interior to the lush green forests of the Tsitsikamma to the rugged Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, the southern slopes of the Drakensberg and the arid Great Karoo. Alternating between sweeping sand, river mouths, rocks and covers, the coastline is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Among them, surfers ride the perfect waves, anglers reel in king-size catches, and board sailors revel in the challenge of the wind. Sunshine all year round, fine leisure resorts and splendid facilities ensure that the great outdoors is always in style.
When pleasures of a more sophisticated kind appeal, you’ll find plenty to entertain you in Port Elizabeth, the largest city in the Eastern Cape, provides the economic heartbeat. It has an airport with flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town, shopping centres, very good private hospitals, car rentals and anything else you might expect from a big city. East London, ideal for family holidays, large enough to offer all the amenities of a city, yet small enough to be genuinely welcoming and friendly. They also provide convenient access to unspoiled areas of exceptional natural beauty.
For the sunseekers, the Wild Coast and the Sunshine Coast has some of the world’s best beaches. For exquisite beaches try Bushman’s River Mouth or Kenton-on-Sea. The Sunshine Coast is also known all over the globe for its surfing waves.
Jeffreys Bay is an area with some of the country’s wildest coastline, which is backed by some of Africa’s most spectacular sub-tropical rainforest. Jeffrey’s, as it is affectionately known by the locals, is famous for its “supertubes”, probably South Africa’s longest and most consistently good wave, it’s charged with a surf vibe as relaxed as it is friendly, and this tends to soften the effect of the wealthy set who have made this part of the coast their own.
The Eastern Cape South Africa offers visitors a wealth of fauna and flora, including the big 5 – Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and African Buffalo. The Eastern Cape National Parks (Addo Elephant National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park and the Tsitsikamma National Park) you can enjoy some of the natural wonders of the Eastern Cape. If you want luxury, the Eastern Cape has some of the best Game Reserves not just in Africa, but in the world. Shamwari and Kwandwe specifically spring to mind.
The Tsitsikamma National Park is an 80 km long coastal strip between Nature’s Valley and the mouth of the Storms River. In the park the visitor finds an almost untouched natural landscape. Near the park is the Bloukrans Bridge, which is the world’s highest bungee jump.
The Eastern Cape also has South Africa’s only ski resort, Tiffindell, which is situated in the Drakensberg on the slopes of Ben McDhui, the highest mountain peak in the Cape very close to the little town of Rhodes.
The National Arts Festival, held in Grahamstown is Africa’s largest and most colourful cultural event, offering a choice of the very best of both indigenous and imported talent. Every year for 11 days the town’s population almost doubles, as over 50,000 people flock to the region for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment.
With all year sunny weather and no malaria, the Eastern Cape is ideal for a relaxing breakaway or a challenging adventure.
Tours & Safaris around the Eastern Cape
Full Addo Day Tour – Departing Port Elizabeth –
Full Addo Day Tour – Departing East London –
Full Day Qunu & Nelson Mandela Heritage Tour –
2 Day Addo Adventure –
3 Day Eastern Cape Wildlife Experience – A wildlife experience with great diversity including luxury and affordable accommodation in the Eastern Cape.
3 Day Eastern Cape Safari – Colonial style – A fantastic, 3-day wildlife experience where guests experience old colonial safari-type accommodation. The tour includes a visit to the Addo National Park and two other very popular game reserves in the Eastern Cape.
4 Day Eastern Cape Addo Adventure Tour – An adventure tour for all those wanting a little more out of 4 days in the Addo region and the Eastern Cape.
5 Day Luxury Bush Safari in the Eastern Cape – An ultimate African safari for the discerning traveller. Enjoy the luxury of the Eastern Cape and be prepared to experience an incredible safari experience. This fully-inclusive packages includes great service and fantastic wildlife sightings.
6 Day Wild Coast Tour – The Wild Coast tour takes guests into a rural part of South Africa where they can take part in a true African experience. On this tour, guests enjoy a variety of activities and enjoy engaging with the Xhosa culture in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
7 Day Eastern Cape Bush & Beach Safari – This 7-day tour in the Eastern Cape gives visitors a great all-round experience, as guests will visit three very different areas of the Eastern Cape and be exposed to the diversity that coexists here.
Our recommended Game Reserves & Lodges in the Eastern Cape
Kwandwe Game Reserve – Kwandwe Private Game Reserve flanks both sides of the Great Fish River for 30km’s where the Big 5 roam freely. This reserve is the ideal malaria-free wildlife destination and is perfect for families with kids…..
Shamwari Private Game Reserve – With out a doubt Shamwari was the pioneer reserve in the Eastern Cape. They established themselves as the go to ecotourism game reserve years ago. They offer fantastic lodges and excellent wildlife experiences in vehicles and on foot.
Amakhala Game Reserve – Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, South Africa is a privately owned joint conservation initiative where animals have been reintroduced to the area where they once roamed. There are 6 independently owned lodges, all of which are owner-managed by the same families who are the original decedents of the 1820 British settlers to this area.
Sibuya Private Game Reserve
Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve
Samara Private Game Reserve
Pumba Private Game Reserve – Pumba is a malaria-free Eastern Cape game reserve in South Africa. It features Big Five wildlife and the rare White Lion. Two intimate safari lodges offer 5-star accommodation and cuisine. Pumba Private Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth is run according to the Green Leaf Environmental Standard.
Gorah Elephant Camp in the Addo National Park – Gorah is the only luxury lodge within the main section of the Addo National Park and is on a private concession. This lodge is the ultimate in luxury tented lodges and competes with the best in Africa. A truly unforgettable African safari experience.
Our recommended stays in Port Elizabeth
Our recommended stays along the Garden Route
Tsitsikamma Village Inn (Tsitsikamma)
Our recommended stays in the Eastern Cape Karoo
Die Tuishuise (Cradock)
Ganora Guest Farm (Niue Bethesda)
Aa’Qtansisi Guest House (Graaff Reinet)
Samara Private Game Reserve (Graaff Reinet)
Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve (Graaff Reinet)
Angler & Antelope (Somerset East)
Our recommended stays in East London & the Wild Coast
Morgan Bay Hotel (Morgan Bay)
Trennery’s Hotel (Wild Coast)
Ocean View Hotel (Coffee Bay – Hole in the Wall)
Umngazi River Bungalows (Port st Johns)
Mboyti River Lodge (Pondoland)
Blue Lagoon Hotel (East London)
East London ICC Hotel
Our recommended stays in the Addo region
Woodall Country House & Spa – Woodall Country House and spa is a real treat in the Addo region. Every time we visit we are overwhelmed by the place and love every minute that we are there. It has great food, great staff, and fantastic guided trips into the Addo.
Chrislin Guest Farm – Chrislin is a value for money lodge in very close proximity to the Addo National Park. A stay at Chrislin will never be forgotten as it is unique and guests enjoy great home cooked meals at the Sneezewoods restaurant. Great add on adventures through their sister company, Criss Cross Adventures.
Gorah Elephant Camp – Gorah is the only luxury lodge within the main section of the Addo National Park and is on a private concession. This lodge is the ultimate in luxury tented lodges and competes with the best in Africa. A truly unforgettable African safari experience.
Riverbend Lodge – One of the best family lodges we have visited. They truly cater for the families who want a safari experience with out the risk of malaria.
Hitgeheim Guest Lodge – Our visit to Hitgeheim Country Lodge was a fantastic one and must have one of the best views over the Sundays River Valley. The lodge is top quality and the staff services and lodge facilities are excellent. With guided tours into the Addo National Park and other options, one can not go wrong with a stay here.
Camp Fig Tree – A fantastic game lodge located on the top of the Zuurberg Mountains where guests can experience exquisite cuisine and excellent hospitality. With their own guide to show you around the property or take you though the Addo National Park guests will enjoy every minute of this stay.